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Front Marshal's Foreword Introduction Organization Rank Structure RMA Chain of Command How to Start a Chapter RMA Special Programs Glossary Appendices

Welcome to the 2nd Edition of the Royal Manticoran Army (RMA) Service Manual (SM) 101, The Soldier’s Guide. This manual is intended primarily for members of the RMA, which is a component of The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc. TRMN is a nonprofit corporation chartered by the State of Delaware, which is dedicated to uniting the fans of Honor Harrington, the main character in a science fiction series written by David Weber.

The Royal Manticoran Navy and the Royal Manticoran Army

The Royal Manticoran Army was formally established by King Roger Winton II in 1648 PD and is the youngest of the Star Empire’s three military services. Prior to that date, each planet in the Manticore system had its own Planetary Guard to provide for disaster relief, peacekeeping, and planetary security, but there was no perceived need for a Kingdom-wide army.

With the growing merchant fleet and responsibilities of the Royal Manticoran Navy in the years following the first transit of the Junction, the Star Kingdom began to look forward towards a military that was capable of force projection in addition to its historical role of system security and defense. The Royal Army was established as part of that initiative, merging the three Planetary Guard forces into a single service and starting a research and Star Empire of Manticore construction program to develop the equipment and doctrine to fight a major ground war if required.

~ House of Steel

TRMN was conceived in 2007 as a way to honor the strong character driven story found in David Weber’s Honor Harrington Series. It would take until 2009 to open dialogs with Ad Astra and David Weber in order to gain their approval and set the stage for being the only official Honor Harrington fan club. As a result, the Royal Manticoran Navy: the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association was born in February of 2011. When TRMN was formed, it was organized into four components: the Royal Manticoran Navy (RMN), the Royal Manticoran Marine Corps (RMMC), the Grayson Space Navy (GSN) and the Royal Manticoran Army (RMA). The heads of these components comprised the starting membership of the Royal Council (RC) which also made up the club’s board of directors. In the same manner as the world of the Honorverse, the RMA is the least senior of the club’s four original components, and until the House of Steel (HoS) was published, the RMA had literally four sentences written about it over the course of the 20 books that had been published by the time of TRMN’s founding.

Each component of the club represents an element of the Honorverse mentioned in the Honor Harrington series. The most senior component is the RMN, followed closely by the RMMC and then the RMA]. Originally, the GSN was meant to be for chapters that did not meet in person, but the advent of better and better communications systems has meant that there is very little difference between many of the components’ chapter operations, with most chapters being a mix of personnel that meet face to face as well as online. Furthermore, new components have been added since the founding of the club such as the Civilian Corps, the Sphinx Forestry Service (SFS), the Imperial Andermani Navy (IAN) and even the Republic of Haven Navy (RHN). Each component strives to maintain a discrete identity and way of doing things that attracts members to that theme. In this, the RMA is no different.

The RMA is a component of TRMN, whose members are people from diverse backgrounds who just prefer the junior service of the Star Kingdom of Manticore (SKM) for their Honorverse fan activities. The RMA is organized along traditional military lines, in the same manner as TRMN, however RMA chapters are organized around the ground force in terms of tactical units. Unlike our navy brethren where the ship is considered to be more-or-less an autonomous organization in much the same way as they are in the Honorverse itself, RMA chapters are not units unto themselves and generally work much more closely with their higher commands. In the RMA, the High Command, which is made up of the Marshal of the Army (MotA), the Deputy Marshal of the Army, Adjutant General, Commanding Officer of the Signal Corps, Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Corps, Commanding Officer of the Logistics Corps, and Sergeant-Major of the Army (SGTMAJA) act as an executive body that both executes directives from the MotA and the RC, and also acts as coordinators and liaisons between the RMA and TRMN Bureaus.

The day to day operations of TRMN are conducted by and through TRMN’s Space Lords, which are also known as Bureaus. The Second Space Lord, also known as BuPlan or the Bureau of Planning, coordinates materials and assistance for chapter convention participation, ensuring that every chapter represents TRMN to a certain standard. The Third Space Lord, also known as BuShips or the Bureau of Ships, is responsible for approving new chapters. The Fourth Space Lord, or BuComm (the Bureau of Communications), is responsible for coordinating for and/or approving artwork used throughout the club, development of manuals, database development, the RMN Newsletter and TRMN Web Sites. The Fifth Space Lord, also known as BuPers (the Bureau of Personnel), is charged with maintaining the membership database as well as processing and renewing memberships. The Sixth Space Lord (BuTrain/Bureau of Training) is the regulating and coordinating agency charged with the education and training of the membership and is the force behind the many academies within TRMN. Finally, the Seventh Space Lord (BuSup/Bureau of Supply) is the quartermaster and supply section which works to provide sources for uniform items and TRMN-related paraphernalia to assist the membership in role playing within the Honorverse.

At its heart, TRMN (and thus the RMA) is a volunteer fan organization that has adopted a military theme in order to not only organize its membership, but also to provide opportunities for the fans of the Honorverse to roleplay and act as if they were a part of the amazing stories that David Weber has given us. The uniforms and ranks (to a lesser extent) that you read about are all a part of the effort to “get into character” or “set the mood” for our members, so that they can feel like they are in the Honorverse. This is a fan club, not a government organization. All costs incurred by this fan club are absorbed by its members. We don’t get money from anywhere but our own pockets or donations. This means that everything we do, we do at our own expense. It is also wise to keep in mind that the people who take on responsibilities in TRMN and RMA are also volunteers, giving their free time to make the experience of the organization better. The only requirement to be a Soldier of the RMA is a positive mental attitude and a willingness to work with others.

Why the Royal Manticoran Army?

The RMA’s four primary mission roles are defined as follows:
  • Provide the mechanized “muscle” for sustained planetary combat
  • Secure and maintain control of planetary surfaces and fixed ground defenses
  • Maintain the peace against uprisings or unrest when called to do so by the Government
  • Provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance

It should be noted that, despite the equipment and training, the Royal Manticoran Army has never in its history been called upon to fulfill its primary mission. Any force that holds undisputed control of the high orbitals can force a surrender or defeat even a superior enemy ground force without risking its own units with few exceptions. For those exceptions, the Star Kingdom has built an Army capable of sustained planetary combat, but the capability has not been needed to date. Instead, the Army has been tasked with peacekeeping and garrison duties on over a dozen captured Havenite worlds. Often the first Manticoran any of their population met in person was a member of the Army, and its training as peacekeeping and local police forces has served them well in that role.
~ House of Steel

Within the context of the Honorverse, there are more arguments against ground-based military formations than there are for them. David can be quoted as saying that with the destruction or capture of a system’s high orbital facilities it makes it impossible for a ground force to continue to fight since orbital firepower can easily reduce such a force’s combat capabilities through either embargo or direct action. In the worst-case scenario, the average RMN super dreadnought carries enough firepower to destroy most of a world’s surface. There are even a few examples of the effects of orbit-to-surface weapons being used to pacify hostile populations in the Honorverse books, in spite of the Eridani Edict. Just like the United States Air Force discovered in Vietnam, destruction is not possession. So, while any world’s military defenders can be defeated through the use of naval forces, history shows that as long as a world’s inhabitants have the means and the will to resist, troops will be needed to go down, take physical control of the world’s important locations, and hold them for an indefinite period of time.

In the context of TRMN, the RMA represents a different way of looking at the Honorverse and, in many ways, is on the cutting edge of the organization simply due to the extreme lack of canon materials produced for it in the series. Until House of Steel made its way to bookstores, there was very little to work with in regard to what the RMA might look like or how it would function within the architecture of the Manticoran military machine. So, for those who have chosen to become members of the junior component of the Manticore-based military components within TRMN, it can be a challenging environment while we define our particular flavor within the club. The RMA has spearheaded many new programs over the last few years in order to do just that and if you’re reading this manual, then we know you will be up to the challenge just the same.

As the “junior service” of the Star Kingdom of Manticore’s military, the Royal Manticoran Army is barely mentioned in the Honor Harrington series. The author recognizes a need for an army, but because the story lines are naval oriented, there has been little written about the army save for a few references to planetary garrisons like Masada and the need for more manpower. Therefore, the number of RMA personnel in TRMN is small (less than 4 percent). While many fans of the Honor Harrington series will have heard of the army, many may have not paid much attention to the vague comments. This means you are going to get a lot of questions about “Why the Army”, “What does the Army do?” etc.

The RMA presence will always be a smaller percentage than the navy or marines. That’s just a fact of life. But that means we will encourage and expect you to show personal initiative. This manual gives you most of the background information you need to be a “Soldier of the Royal Manticoran Army”. But to make a name for yourself, to have fun, to earn respect, and to be recognized for your abilities, you will have to take charge of yourself and set some goals, then work towards them. Leadership starts inside you.

The RMA Mission

Within the context of TRMN, the RMA seeks to emphasize and balance the 4 pillars of the organization. These pillars are:

  • Academics
One of the unique aspects of TRMN as a fan organization is the requirement for testing with regard to the assumption of leadership positions as well as the acquisition of rank. While the Bureau of Training is responsible for regulating training throughout the club, the RMA coordinates with the Bureau of Training to operate the King Roger I Military Academy, where the soldiers of the kingdom receive introductions to leadership, management, history and the Honorverse. Your participation is essential to your success.
  • Marksmanship
As a military science fiction focused organization, it would be hard to divorce ourselves from gaming. Whether your passion is for pen-and-paper roleplaying or online MMORPGs and everything in between, we seek to make gaming inclusive and something that brings our membership together.
  • Event Participation
TRMN seeks to provide a fandom venue that is professional, cooperative and collaborative and an outlet for fans to cosplay and role-play in the Honorverse. Toward that end, there are many avenues within the organization, as a whole, that can help members acquire uniforms and other Honorverse fandom related items. Ultimately, the RMA exists to help fans of the Honor Harrington series meet and interact with each other on this level.
  • Charity
One of the primary missions of TRMN is to give back to the greater community and the primary charity of TRMN is Big Cat Rescue, a wild cat rescue service and preserve in Tampa, Florida. However this does not prevent chapters from sponsoring events that benefit others or even charities local to them. Contributing to your chapter’s local community is highly encouraged, and fundraisers other than Big Cat Rescue (BCR) count towards the Order of Queen Elizabeth medals, which are also counted in this category.

TRMN (and consequently the RMA) is focused primarily on providing a fun experience to all of the members, from the newest members to the longest serving member.